By: Akon Eddy, Kaduna

A medical practitioner serving in Minna, Niger State, Dr. Lucky Francis has called on the Kaduna State Government to release their children who were arrested on December 22, 2016, and up till today are still being kept by the police without being charged to court. He stated this while speaking to the media in Kaduna on Wednesday.

Dr. Francis who spoke on behalf of parents of four other children namely: Silas Samuel, Promise Odili, Bartholomew Lucky, Vincent Yusuf and Moses Uchenna, ages 19 – 23 years; said the children were arrested on December 22, 2016, at various locations in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State on the allegation of rioting and unlawful assembly.

He stated that on the said date, 56 youths were arrested in connection with the said unlawful assembly but painfully some have been released without any investigation.  He wondered why their children wee still being kept without prosecution.

Dr. Francis added that the children were transferred from Kafanchan Area Command to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Kaduna State Police Command, where he reliably gathered that they underwent renewed torture with the view to making them confess to committing the alleged offence.

“When we made our case before Governor Nasir el-Rufai, he personally came to the State CID and ordered that the suspects be charged to Barnawa Magistrate Court 5. “But up till today they’ve not been charged to court and the police have refused to tell us their whereabouts.  I last saw my son on December 22, 2016, and I’ve been coming from Minna in Niger State to Kaduna to no avail.

“If these children are suspects they should be charged to court instead of keeping them in custody.  We call on Governor Nasir el-Rufai to ensure justice is done by releasing our children or charge them to court.

“The First Information Report available to us reads: Criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, rioting, inciting disturbance, mischief by fire causing grievous hurt and culpable homicides. On the 22/12/2016 at about 1400hrs, the DPO Kafanchan Division transfered the above mentioned case to the effect that on 19/12/2016, 20/12/2016, some youths both men and women protesting against incessant killing of Southern Kaduna people by Fulani herdsmen during the protest the following persons (1) Silas Samuel 23yrs, painter, Kafanchan; (2) Promise Odili, 20yrs student, Kafanchan; (3) Bartholomew Lucky, 19yrs student, Kafanchan; (4) Vincent Yusuf, 20yrs, Plumbing, Kafanchan; (5) Moses Uchenna, 20yrs, student Kafanchan.

“We also felt bad that the prosecuting team defaulted the Governor’s order by not charging them to court.  This shows that something is fishy somewhere, so release our children; we plead with el-Rufai,” he said.

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